tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC November 6, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PST
unwanted advances. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, a series of unwanted advances. that's what the lawyer for one of the women linked to the herman cain story says his client experienced, a series of uns wanted advances. that late-breaking bit of news was just the latest detail that has come to light. yet another detail that does not square with cain's denials and now a group supporting cain has put out a web video, calling media scrutiny of cain a high-tech lynching. sound familiar?oked
at 12 swing states, all won by barack obama in 2008, and found that they are now essentially toss-ups, including the state of pennsylvania. mitt romney and president obama are essentially tied in these states overall. this is where the election will be won or lost, of course, in these 12 states, and we're going to look at where things stand as of right now, a year before the election. plus, look who's cozying up to the tea party for the second day in a row. mitt romney has courted the republican right wing. it looks like mitt has decided to accept the tea party. big question, will the tea party ever, ever accept him? and take a look at this moment from a senate candidate fellow -- it was a gathering of a senate candidate elizabeth warren had with volunteers this week. >> well, you're the intellectual creator of that so-called -- >> well, that was a tea party
supporter, and it's just the latest example of how the matchup between warren and scott brown may wind up being the most emotional and intensely fought of next year's senate races. let me finish with president obama's need to describe what his second term would do for the country if he wants a second term, and he surely does. we start with new details on herman cain, jonathan martin is senior reporter for politico, and john heilemann is "new york" magazine's national political columnist. gentleman, i have been out selling books in philadelphia last night, and obviously lost my voice. i will persist. joel bennett, the attorney for one of the women who settled with the national restaurant association gave a presser today about the sexual harassment complaint. and he said there was more than one incident. here's a portion of that press conference just a short time ago. >> thank you all for your patience. in 1999, i was retained by a female employee of the national restaurant association
concerning several instances of sexual harassment by the then-ceo. she made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the ceo. those complaints were resolved and an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement. she and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately. in fact, it would be extremely painful to do so. >> jonathan, you broke this story initially, so tell me what's moved here today. what's new to you? what's new to us? >> well, you have the lawyer for one of the women who claims sexual assault harassment, detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. and that statement, he said, was written with his client, so he's essentially speaking for his client there. so this is the first time that publicly, for the camera, you are seeing a representative of
one of the women who has made these allegations, saying that, yes, in fact, we did make this claim. you also have the organization confirming, through their own separate statement today, that this woman did file a formal complaint with the organization in 1999. now, the attorney wouldn't say today how much the woman got. my reporting has turned out that it was about $45,000 of it she got, for the allegation. so the interesting thing, too, chris, i was there at the press conference. the last sentence of the statement from the lawyer on behalf of his client was, she stands by her allegations. so, she's not backing down one inch. but she's also not going public. she wants, i think, to avoid the spectacle of bringing this out, having a public back and forth, so she's not going to detail what exactly happened, but she's also standing by her claims. >> well, here's the latest from the cain campaign. they just issued this statement in response to the bennett
presser. "we look forward to focusing our attention on the real issues impacting this country, like fixing this broken economy and putting americans back to work through our 9-9-9 plan, as well as strengthening national security." so they're moving away from this story, as best they can, over the weekend. john heilemann, has this sort of stultified or frozen the story at the level of advances? and we can assume that meant sexual advances. we can assume that meant some sort of a -- well, something like what we think of advances, what they mean, not just bad talk in the office, but a particular sexual aspect to this thing. so where's that leave us? >> well, it leaves us, chris, at the end of a week in which herman cain has seen the facts in this case get worse for him every day. from moving from the initial politico story, through what we've seen, day by day, wit
eyewitnesses coming forward, with additional people who have seen him do inappropriate things. an iowa conservative radio show host, who says that cain behaved in ways that made some of his female staff feel uncomfortable. there's been a lot of back and forth over the course of the week with the cain campaign trying to blame the perry campaign and the perry campaign blaming the romney campaign. in the end, none of that matters. what matters is the facts. and with each day that's gone by, his case has gotten worse. and i don't think that the stories -- it's not stultified right now in my mind. it is, we're still -- there's still more to know and i think reporters are going to continue to press this pretty vigorously, even if the cain campaign wants to try to get past it as they probably do. >> i meant stultify meaning if the complainant here, the 34r6 i guess you would say in a legal sense, says that's all i'm going to say going into this weekend. is there any reason to believe that she's going to change her mind, or is there any reason to believe that the other women if there are, will come forward? >> there's no reason to believe that. it's certainly possible. but, look, there are also other
ways that reporters can obtain information. if there were witnesses, for example, that saw some of that behavior. so, obviously, news organizations are going to keep reporting on this. mine included. but, again, this is the first time that you've seen one of the women speaking, granted, through her attorney, actually, you know, reassert these charges against mr. cain. mr. cain has clearly now decided that he would rather move on than litigate what would happen when he was at the organization. but he also, in that statement, did not respond to her allegations, and didn't reassert his denial. >> well, "the new york times" story, vet this for me, you're in competition obviously with politico, but "the new york times" story as i read it this morning said they were out at dinner one night, they were drinking, a whole lot of drinking. he was out with a lot of young staff people, he was in his 50s at the time, that's at the borderline of trouble, but he apparently made a proposition to one of the young women, she turned him down, he kept it up, she turned him down. and she had the sense, whether it was evidentiary or not, that
she was being punished at the office for having turned him down. that's serious, serious business. that's bad behavior. not just inappropriate or uncomfortable, creating behavior. that's bad behavior. is that where this story stands? all they're admitting here that advances, which to me is absolutely consistent, but very skeletal in describing the scene. >> chris, your viewers should know that based on our reporting, the woman described in that "times" story, and also our own story from last night that my colleagues wrote, is a separate woman from the woman whose attorney just spoke about an hour and a half ago. >> okay, this is another event. another case -- >> two separate cases. >> so it's another case of advances, though. this is an interesting word. >> right. >> but advances means, as we might say in the parlance of our time, made a move on somebody, in a way she did not appreciate. rejected, and continued to do so. i'm just trying to get this to the language where the average person who doesn't work for an hr section of a company would know what we're talking about
and would decide for themselves where inappropriate ventured into bad. and where they said, no, this is character. this is character here. >> chris, my colleagues last night reported that mr. cain in a hotel room made a sexual overture at this woman. she was so angry at what happened that she, within hours, took the matter to a board member at the organization and complained to that board member about what had happened to her in that hotel room. well, it was a pretty clear, according to our sources, sexual overture in a hotel room. so that's different than a comment in a workplace environment. >> sure. and that was the woman who is not the woman who here is described by her attorneys as saying there were advances made? >> that's correct. >> we have two cases here that seem like consistent with each other. john heilemann, i get back to the question. let's take a look at the polling here. new polling conducted since this story broke on the sunday shows. it remains -- it shows a strong contender, and still, mr. cain. he is neck and neck with romney
at the top of the field in a new "washington post" poll, also by abc poll, in the margin of error. there they are, just points apart. it doesn't look like it's cracking him yet. >> not yet. and look, he has had through most of this week, he's had pretty consistent defense from conservative media figures, and others on the conservative side of the partisan aisle. that has obviously helped him. there are many people for -- who his supporters were, who find his playing the victim, in some queues, of the established media culture. they find that an appealing -- it's part of his whole persona as an outsider. i will say, chris, that we don't know yet. it seems like some conservatives are now walking away from him. there are still more facts to come out. and if all of the allegations against him are true and credible, there's now becoming a pattern of behavior here that's going to be very hard for him to escape in the long run. and i think for republicans who are looking for somebody who can beat barack obama, a candidate like this is going to be terribly scarred with women going forward. that's a problem the republicans
have in general against the democrats and would make it very tough for him if he were to be the party's nominee, to beat barack obama. >> okay. thank you very much, as always, giving uses 34ri9 cal contest for 2012. coming up, could be tough sledding for president obama in 12 key swing states. he won all 12 back in 2008 but a new poll has him neck and neck with these top tier republicans in those states. he could actually lose a lot of these, perhaps half of these states, and therefore lose the election. he's in trouble where he needs to win, and that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. with your toys after dinner. looks beautiful, honey. [ rattling ] jason... really buddy, wow. samantha jane. ♪ guys, christmas dinner and you're bringing toys to the table? ♪ that, that's not a toy... let's eat! [ male announcer ] get low prices on the gifts they love. and layaway is back, so you can pay a little at a time.
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of key states that could swing either republican or democrat. take a look at this map. the states in yellow, there they are, are the 12 toss-ups at this point, a year before the election. barack obama won, this is the scary part for the democrats, he won all those yellow states in 2008. but he's facing a tough fight to win any of them back or all of them back. here to break down some new numbers on these all-important swing states are susan page, washington bureau chief, "usa today," which is in any hotel room in america when you wake up at the door, and she wrote the cover story today on this polling. and my esteemed colleague, david gregory, moderator of nbc's "meet the press," who has to deal with this latest news. first you, ingestion, digestion. you, what's new here? >> let me tell you, we do national polls all the time, but we don't have a national system. we have an electoral college system. these are the states, these 12 states are the ones that will determine who wins the presidency. we went back and looked -- and polled in those 12 states. the thing that is alarming for the obama white house that we
found is he's in a tough situation nationwide. he's in a worse situation in the battleground states. people are more negative about their lives. they give him a lower approval rating. it really underscores the uphill climb he's going to have to win a second term. >> what does that tell you about the kind of climb he's going to have to do, probably? >> i think it's a couple of things. in that polling as well, and in your story, is talk about how pessimistic americans are. we know that right track/wrong track number is so indicative of how independent voters are thinking. the problem with that is that the white house knows that independent voters are looking up and saying, you know what, am i better off than i was? these are independent voters who had soured on the bush years and thought that obama had the competence to lead the economy forward and lead the country out of where we were? and look what's happened? the best argument, as we were just saying was, well, it could be a whole lot worse. that's not a position of strength. number two, look at that map again. in the mountain west, what are you talking about?
you're talking about a lot of minority voters, not just independents in those states, we're talking about colorado and new mexico and nevada. you're talking about minority voters, latino voters, the fastest-growing voting bloc in the country. they don't just have to win them, they have to win them huge. they have to win them huge at a time when there's not a great deal of enthusiasm. the president himself saying, it's not going to be a sexy campaign. they're going to have to grind it out. >> the white voters in all our polling showing leading heavily republican now against obama. so they need to really sweep the minority. >> and how about the blue-collar voters? kim stroszel wrote this in the "wall street journal" today about the environmental policy against good old union policy on the issue of jobs. you look again at the map. the upper midwest. union jobs. >> to make these points, let's take a look at the 101 matchups in these 12 battleground states in the polling here. mitt romney beats barack obama, 47-46, a statistical dead heat. romney -- what state was that? >> that was all 12 states. >> and best against the -- romney does best against the president. romney lead cain 48 to cain's 45. one note, the poll was conducted before the cain news broke.
but we're getting a good look at the president. the president's ahead of rick perry, 49 to 44. that doesn't surprise me, given the difficult problems he's been having. but me we talked about industrial states, basically. you talking about the rocky mountain states, where they definitely hope to get the newer voters, the hispanic voters, the high-tech voters, the sometimes better educated voters out there. let's get back to the rust belt, from scranton to oshkosh, the classic tim russert world he grew up in. the world of buffalo. that whole place right across there, right? those people are white people, ethnic people, used to voting democrat, but also quite willing to vote for a reagan, somebody they like. will they vote for a romney? >> and -- we don't know. because people -- i think when a president's running for re-election, they make two decisions. the first decision is, do i want to re-elect the president? and it's hard to imagine that when you have 60% of people in these battleground states saying i am worse off than i was when barack obama got elected is that they're going to say, yes, i definitely want to vote for
barack obama. if they say, i'm not sure about this president, then they look at the alternative and say, is this an acceptable alternative? am i willing to vote for this person? and that's when the hurdle will come, for mitt romney or whoever the republican -- >> you know, it's like a baseball manager. he looks at the guy on the mound, it's the sixth inning, halfway through the game and goes, this guy seems to be losing his fastball. he doesn't decide about the guy in the bull pen until he's looked at the guy on the mound. the mound guy better be pitching ball. >> a different metaphor. put it in the courtroom. is this an acceptable alternative is the question. what's plouffe's job in the white house, david plouffe, the president's job is to beat the hell out of the alternative so you have enough reasonable doubt >> but does that ever work at the presidential level? jerry told me in '80 that people believed everything bad about reagan, but they didn't think carter was up to the job. >> it worked with dukakis and it worked with kerry. >> it worked in 2004? how did it work? >> it worked, basically, the choice was, who's going to keep you stronger? who's going to keep you safe? who's going to be tougher
against the terrorists? and ultimately they were able to whittle away and chip away at kerry, a veteran in the vietnam war, of whether he was going to be tough enough on terrorism and sort of undermine his choices about the iraq war. and i think it was -- you know, i remember bush saying that he ran into a guy who said, there's something about the massachusetts liberal that has a good ring to it. i mean, that basically was the campaign. >> i remember that poll, david, and it blew me away when it said basically they didn't trust kerry to protect the country. and that's the -- >> and then bin laden comes out. >> right now with the economy, what does it have to be? i know this is the magic question. it's 9% today. what does it have to go to for people to say, we'll keep this guy? >> president obama's going to be forced to break a historical precedent to win a second term. we know that there's not a credible economist in the country who says the unemployment rate is going to be low enough to be back in that range for presidents to traditionally win. that's not to say he can't win, but it means he needs to make
his opponent unacceptable and he needs to make the country feel like we're at least back on the track. >> thank you. republican presidential candidate jon huntsman will be david's guest on "meet the press" on sunday. and you. >> i'll also be there. >> but i had to bring you chicken soup. >> tonight and tomorrow. >> there it is the book, my personal look into the career of a beloved leader. and next week i'll be doing the show from the west coast, if my voice comes back, as part of my national tour for the book starting monday in seattle. you can go to facebook.com/hardball for more information on the tour. up next, ohio governor john kasich fumbles a football analogy about one of his state's most beloved teams, the browns. catch the sideshow next. ♪ ♪ [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution,
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first up, it's not exactly smooth sailing for ohio governor john kasich. days before the vote on a controversial piece of anti-union legislation. as that approaches, he's been covering major ground throughout the state, trying to rally support. he even went for a sports analogy when asked by a reporter if he thought the legislation would survive the strong public accusation. "we never thought former cleveland browns quarterback bernie kosar would bring the browns back and win that big championship game." remember that super bowl? no, maybe that's because he never won a championship for the browns. that fumble is on par with martha coakley, once upon a time, calling former red sox pitcher kurt schilling a yankee fan. the lesson here, don't use sports analogies until you know what you're talking about. next up, talking about unfazed. it's been a rough week for herman cain, says we know, and now his campaign is also facing a possible legal issue regarding his campaign's relationship with a koch brothers nonprofit. let's here how he's responding
to the news. >> i am the koch brothers' brother from another mother. yes! i'm their brother from another mother! and proud of it! >> wow! i'm not sure if it qualifies as a defense. and finally, we all know that the current crop of gop candidates or some of them, at least, are not exactly on the dean's list when it comes to the science behind global warming. how will this anti-science platform play out in the race for the white house? according to a new york city mayor michael bloomberg, it doesn't make the grade. in a speech yesterday, the mayor said, "we have presidential candidates who don't believe in science. can you imagine a company of any size in a world where the ceo said, oh, i don't believe in science, and that person surviving to the end of the day? are you kidding me. it's mind boggling." bloomberg declined to target specific candidates, however, but you know who you are. mitt, michelle and rick and the
rest of you. we know who you are. that's "hardball" for now. up next "your business" with j.j. ramberg. [ female announcer ] from the moment we arrive... we don't want anything to slow us down so it's surprising that most women aren't getting enough calcium. with over 25 flavors, yoplait original gives you 50% of the daily value of calcium in every cup. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business.
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